Unpowered craft in Maida Hill Tunnel

Organisations running trips in canoes, paddleboards and other unpowered craft have been keen to pass through the Maida Hill Tunnel on the Regent's Canal. This will be possible for a trial period from 4 April.

A group of paddlers getting ready to get in their canoes Getting ready to paddle

From Monday 4 April we’ll be running a trial to allow unpowered craft to pass through Maida Hill tunnel on the Regent's Canal.

The trial is planned initially for 12 months, with a review after ten months.

All the known local groups who use unpowered craft have been contacted to inform them of the trial and the need to apply for authorisation if they wish to use the tunnel. We also are holding ongoing dialogue with all of our local commerical boat operators.

British Canoeing have put the information below into their monthly newsletter to reiterate our intentions and to spread the news wider.

As a reminder, the following is a copy of the criteria that 'authorised groups' will sign up to if they want to transit Maida Hill Tunnel:

a) The person named on the application is responsible for ensuring the group that they represent comply with these terms and conditions.

b) Boat licences and insurance certificates must be kept in date.

c) The Canal & River Trust reserves the right to retract the authorisation at any time.

d) If authorisation is granted, we will email the local commercial trip boat operators a copy of your estimated transit timetable.

e) All craft must only enter the tunnel if the transit is clear of oncoming craft.

f) All craft must not pass other craft in the tunnel.

g) A bright white forward facing light of not less than 80 Lumens (i.e. a head torch) must be used. Retro reflective strips on clothing and paddles, and a rear facing red light should also be considered.

h) Buoyancy aids must be worn.

i) Staff must be able to manage an emergency in the tunnel e.g. managing a capsize etc.

j) There are to be no lone transits.

k) An unpowered craft to transit the tunnel shall be:

  • Any canoe, kayak, bell boat or stand up paddleboard used, must be recognised by British Canoeing for paddle sport
  • A small conventional rowing boat/dinghy under oars and correctly crewed ie. not overloaded, is also acceptable
  • Non–approved unpowered craft shall not transit the tunnel eg. rafts and other types including inflatable arrangements designated for 'fun' use

l) Everyone must be patient and courteous to all other tunnel users.

m) Any accidents, near misses or incidents must be reported using our incident form here.

Last date edited: 25 October 2018